business-561387_1920

‘Ease Of Doing Business’ In India

 

IndiGo is adding to its fleet. India is getting better at Doing Business says the World Bank. Tata Teleservices paid over a billion to end dispute with the erstwhile partner NTT Docomo.

 

40% 

What is it? The percentage of seats that went empty on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai train route in the three-month period to September, according to the response of the Indian Railways to an RTI query.

Why is it important? This is the route chosen by the Central government to build India’s first bullet train project, with Japan’s help, at a cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore. Critics of the project argue that, instead of investing in one high-speed line, the money can be better spent on multiple projects whose benefits reach more Indians.

Tell me more: For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of the Indian Railways has been earmarked at Rs 1,31,000 crore, of which, Rs 55,000 crore is due to come from the Central government.

 

141

What is it? The number of aircraft in the fleet of IndiGo, as of September 2017. That’s an increase of 6 aircraft over June 2017 and 23 over September 2016.

Why is it important? At its Q2 results yesterday, India’s number one domestic airline reported a four-fold increase in net profit on a year-on-year basis to Rs 552 crore, partly driven by a 25.7% increase in passenger revenues. This increase comes in the lean season, which shows it is being able to sweat its assets.

Tell me more: The net profit was partly aided by compensation from Pratt & Whitney and Airbus for grounding of planes and delivery delays.

 

34%

What is it? Share of Mauritius in the $43.4 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) that came into India in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is today flying to Mauritius on a three-day visit, during which he will participate in an event of non-resident Indians and invite them to invest in the state. Last month, he hosted a 50-member industry delegation from the US.

Tell me more: The share of the Kanpur regional office of the central bank, which covers UP and Uttarakhand, in FDI inflows in 2016-17 was just 0.2%.

 

30

What is it? The number of positions that India gained in the 2018 Doing Business rankings released by the World Bank yesterday.

Why is it important? This study assesses countries on 10 parameters, and India posted an improved score in each, with the biggest jumps coming in ‘paying taxes’, ‘getting credit’ and ‘resolving insolvency’.

Tell me more: The World Bank survey is based on the situation in New Delhi and Mumbai. A state-level survey of 3,276 manufacturing firms by NITI Aayog-IDFC Institute, released in August, documented improvements but also reported challenges in doing business.

 

$1.27 billion

What is it? The amount that Japan’s NTT Docomo said on Tuesday it has received from Tata Sons as arbitration, awarded last year for its 21.6% stake in Tata Teleservices.

Why is it important? The transfer ends the dispute between the erstwhile joint venture partners and paves the way for the merger of the loss-making consumer-mobile business of the Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel.

Tell me more: A stated goal of Tata Sons executive chairman N Chandrasekaran is rationalisation of the group’s businesses, with an approach that pivots around 5-7 groups than 110 companies.

 

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Buyology

$10 million

What is it? The amount Quikr, the online classifieds company, will pay to acquire Zimmber, a home services startup.

Why is it important? Quikr itself is a startup, competing with international online classified names like Olx, but it has committed to spend Rs 250 crore earlier this year to expand. Zimmber would be its 10th acquisition, with seven made in 2016. Home services will help Quikr to diversify further, adding to its portfolio of online sales of real estate, automobiles etc.

Tell me more: Zimmber, competing with a host of other homegrown services companies, had raised $7.4 million so far. Quikr’s last known valuation was  $979 million, in 2016.

 

25

What is it? The number of IAS officers transferred by the new BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, the third such reshuffle after it came to power.

Why is it important? The transfers follow those of 20 IAS officers the first time, and 84 IAS and 54 IPS officers the second time. The Yogi Adityanath-led government continues the tradition of major reshuffles in bureaucracy seen when a new party takes office, to tailor  the administration according to its liking. It gives rise to the notorious transfer culture of IAS officers, which afflicts well-meaning public servants as well.

Tell me more: The transfers include those of chief development officers in 16 districts.

 

62%

What is it? The proportion of votes French independent centrist, Emmanuel Macron, is polled to win in the second round of the presidential race, on Sunday.

Why is it important? Since the first round in the race, Macron has gained three points over rival and far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen of the National Front. The run for France’s president, featuring none of its major political parties, is being seen as symbol of the fight between radical right activism and a more moderate approach in a key European economy.

Tell me more: Macron benefits in the Elabe poll from public opinion of a win in a televised final debate with Le Pen.

 

> 50

What is it? The number of Saudi and Pakistani channels being broadcast in Kashmir without government clearance.

Why is it important? Many of these channels are said to promote secession and a conservative version of Islam. Indian government has been struggling to get its act right in Kashmir, even as Indian forces face stone pelting on ground, and criticism about some of the extreme measures they have used intending to bring order to the region.

Tell me more: The channels that are being aired include Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, which is banned in the country.

 

217

What is it? The number of votes American Health Care Act got in US House of Representatives.

Why is it important? In effect, the House has annulled Obamacare, the flagship policy of Obama administration, handing a victory to President Donald Trump who had promised he would repeal the act if he were elected. All the democrats in the house, along with 20 republicans, voted against the new act, making it a close shave. It will now go on to the Senate.

Tell me more: The act needed 216 votes to pass in the House, and it got 217.  The repealing of Obamacare is likely to cause millions of Americans lose their health insurance.

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Kashmir: Missing the woods for the trees?

22

What is it? The number of social networking sites and applications banned in Kashmir, for either a month or till further orders.

Why is it important? Such sites are being blamed for fanning trouble by letting protesters circulate messages and videos, instigating mob fury further. However, it is also being criticised as a stop-gap measure. Internet access was already hobbled by an earlier ban on mobile high-speed data, as students took to the streets in droves to voice dissent from the administration and military force.

Tell me more: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Wechat, QQ, Qzone, Google Plus, Skype, Line, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine and Flickr are some of the apps being banned.

 

84

What is it? The number of Uttar Pradesh IAS officers who have transferred under Yogi Adityanath administration on Wednesday.

Why is it important? It’s the biggest administrative change that UP chief minister has made since he came to power on March 19th. Large scale transfers are often used by the political leadership to assert themselves. Data shows one out 10 of postings in 20 key departments in the state cadres last only 33 to 71 days. One out of five IAS officers spend less than a year in a posting on average.

Tell me more: 54 IPS officers have also been transferred.

 

7.6%

What is it? The estimated average increment for employees of mobile phone operators this year.

Why is it important? Compared to 8.4% last year, the increment is set to decrease as carriers’ profitability is strained in the cutthroat competition. Price wars and imminent consolidation in the industry have dented performances of the leading players.

Tell me more: Aon Hewitt which has published the report expects overall India Inc increments to hover at 9.5%.

 

~$1.1 billion

What is it? The amount of the deal South Korean Kia Motors, a Hyundai subsidiary, is expected to sign on Thursday for its first Indian factory.

Why is it important? While the investment will be a feather in the cap of Andhra Pradesh, India also gains more importance for Hyundai and Kia.  China’s consumers sentiments turn against Korean chaebols as South Korea tests a US-made anti-missile system. India has been the fastest-growing passenger car market, though China is over seven times its size.

Tell me more: The new plant will produce 300,000 a year, and become operational by the second half of 2019.

 

~20 percentage points

What is it? The reduction in corporate tax rate in the United States, per president Donald Trump’s new tax plan.

Why is it important? This is the first big tax reform since 1986, and is aimed at encouraging businesses to invest more, boost the economy and create jobs. However, there are concerns that it might also increase deficit.

Tell me more: Trump has reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%, and the number of individual income brackets from seven to three.

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News in Numbers, Mar 20, 2017: The Wall (not Trump’s)

$130,000

What is it? Minimum wage for a H1B visa holder, as proposed in High Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act, introduced by Congressperson Zoe Lofgren of California earlier this year.

Why is it important? It’s one of the visa reforms being sought by some United States politicians, concerned about foreign nationals taking away American jobs. This bill was expected to impact the way Indian IT companies operate. One of the first signs of change on ground is a decision reported to have taken by Infosys not to apply for H1B visas for junior staff.

Tell me more: The introduction of the bill is potentially acting as a catalyst for IT companies even as they tweak their operating models so they are less dependent on H1B visas (and human resources in general).

 

139 days

What is it? The number of days Manipur was under economic blockade.

Why is it important? United Naga Council, which had imposed the blockade on the north eastern state to protest against the creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full fledged districts, has called it off effective Sunday midnight.

Tell me more: It’s a win for the BJP-led coalition, which is awaiting a floor test in the State Assembly. In the recent elections, Indian National Congress emerged as the single largest party. BJP joined hands with smaller parties to claim the right to form the government.

 

47

What is it? The number of people who were sworn in as ministers in Uttar Pradesh government under chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and  Dinesh Sharma.

Why is it important? The focus of everyone’s attention was Yogi Adityanath himself, who is known for provocative and often divisive speeches, and controversial statements. His selection as the country’s largest state came as a surprise to many who thought of recent election results as a mandate for development.

Tell me more: The newly formed government has 21 ministers in cabinet rank. BJP won 312 of the 384 seats it contested (and of 403 available) in the recently held assembly elections. Samajwadi Party won 47 seats and Bahujan Samaj Party won 19.

 

~ 400 million

What is it? The number of customers that telecom players Vodafone and Idea will have as a merged group.

Why is it important? That would mean a 35% market share by number of users. While there were talks about Vodafone – Idea merger for some months now (especially after the launch of Reliance Jio), the companies acknowledged they were in talks last month, and formally announced it after Idea board approved the merger on Monday.  The merged entity will control over 40% of revenue market share, and a quarter of all the spectrum available in the country.

Tell me more: Vodafone will own 45.1%, and Idea promoters will own 26% in the new company.

 

525

What is it? The number of balls faced by Cheteshwar Pujara against Australian cricket team at Ranchi in the ongoing test series.

Why is it important? It is the longest innings ever played by an Indian, and beats Rahul Dravid’s record of 495 balls against Pakistan, in which Dravid scored 270 runs. Pujara scored 202. This is the third test in India – Australia series. The match ends on Monday.

Tell me more: The others in the top five list (of Indian players) who stayed longest on crease by number of balls faced) are Navjot Sidhu, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar.

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